People: Swedish leader collects takeaway

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The Independent Online
A VISIT to a pavement cafe in Stockholm's charming Old Town proved messy for Carl Bildt, the Swedish Prime Minister. He was hit in the face with a takeaway container of sauted chicken and rice tossed by an impulsive drunk who then spent a few hours in jail sobering up and contemplating an assault charge.

Police, Bildt aides and the public refuse to see the attack as anything other than the price of maintaining an open society. Mr Bildt wanted to discuss the attack with the assailant, 'but it was not possible because he was not really sober', his spokesman said.

Previous Swedish prime ministers have found their desire for freedom of movement problematic. For Olof Palme in 1986, a late-night cinema outing was a fatal mistake; he was shot dead as he walked home. Ingvar Carlsson was chased by skinheads on an underground train platform in March. In the same month, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen was trapped in his house by fishermen who dumped 10 tons of ice against his front door.

HE HAD to run to do it, but Bill Clinton managed to dodge the press on Wednesday. He was out of the White House gate, with two Secret Service agents in suits alongside, before the press knew it. 'The President is somewhere on Constitution Avenue,' an aide told the driver of the press van, which roared off down the road.

A television cameraman leaned out of the van's sunroof, shouting to passersby: 'I'm looking for the President. Have you seen the President?' A taxi driver replied: 'The White House is seven blocks that way.' The van's radio soon squawked with a message: The Comeback Kid had come back to the White House, his run completed.

SOMEBODY should tell Axl Rose the tax man's looking for him. The Guns N' Roses singer owes dollars 7,095 ( pounds 4,700) in property taxes in Fontana, a southern Wisconsin resort area, and stands to lose a 10- acre lot he owns if he doesn't pay by 15 July, but county officials can't find him. A clerk in the county treasurer's office said notices sent to Rose's registered address in Encino, California, have come back without a forwarding address.

RETURNING to the road after a six-year absence, Tina Turner (above) is as hot as ever. She's combining a US tour with the release of the film What's Love Got to Do With It, about her life and career since she was discovered by her ex-husband, Ike Turner, in 1958. She'll be off to Australia in September to perform the theme song 'Simply the Best' for fans at the rugby league championship match. Tina likes rugby league because 'it is a full-on macho sport . . . a real game. No pads. Real he-men'.

TWO YEARS after being toppled by rebels, Mengistu Haile Mariam apparently still dreams of returning to power. But so far the former Ethiopian dictator is only master of all he surveys within four walls, living in isolation in Zimbabwe. The government in Harare, eager to promote good ties with Ethiopia's new leaders, has banned interviews with him and ringed his house and nearby roads with armed security men.

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